Zombie Girls: Small Business Mondays

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Business: Zombie Girls

Owners: Rikki Farina and Kelsey Web

Where: Austintown, OH

What you do: Zombie and theatrical makeup in addition to classic hair and makeup services

When it started: 2012

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Zombiegirls3   Phone: 330-718-6574

Earnest: How did you get started? Rikki Farina: Youtube. I actually started teaching myself using Youtube videos during my senior year of highschool.  It’s a funny story actually, I was in my bathroom just looking at my toilet paper, and I thought I wonder if I could do something with this. I learned how to make a gash using toilet paper and elmer’s glue and I was in my bathroom practicing with what makeup I had. When I was done, I sent a picture to my boyfriend who ended up calling me frantically telling me I had to go to the hospital.

It escalated from there. I ended up experimenting with different techniques, trying different products, making different products…I started doing it for my friends and after they started telling people and they saw my work, they ended up asking me if I could do makeup for events like zombie balls, zombie sweetest days, zombie runs, all kinds of things.

E: How do you get the word out about Zombie Girls? RF: When people hear the word zombie, they’re like ‘Oh yeah, you’ve got to make me into one!’ We just have a Facebook page and business cards right now. It’s mostly by word of mouth. You’ve got to start somewhere.

E: How much did it cost to get started?RF: It took us $150 to start, we spent it all on makeup and supplies. I wanted to go to school for this kind of makeup but it was too much money so I went to regular cosmetology school and now I have my license.

E: What are your aspirations? RF: We’re just local right now, but I’d really like to do some stuff in Pittsburgh as well.  I would like to get my own building so I can have a salon/studio where people can also buy the products they need to do this kind of stuff. We really dont’ have anythign like that around here, except for online.

E: Who are your competitors? RF: I know of other people who do zombie makeup, but not as a business. We’re sort of one of a kind. I don’t want to toot my own horn but we’re pretty cool.

E: What’s the hardest part about running your business? RF: You don’t know what you’re going to run into. You don’t know what the client wants until you sit down and meet them. You don’t know if it’s going to be a zombie, if it’s going to be an alien, if it’s going to eb some kind of mystical character, you have to be open to everything. THe weirdest one I’ve gotten so far is an alien prostitute. It takes some creativity.

E: What advice do you have for people who are starting their own businesses?RF: If I could give any advice to them, it would be it might be hard but you’ve got to hang in there. Because when everything is finished and everything is the way you want, you have to stand back and be like, I did this, I conquered my goal, I did what I wanted to do. You feel really proud.

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